Besides, some studiesconﬁrm this reasoning.
In a detailed analysis of the agreement on agriculture (AoA), McMahon concluded that
existing standards for market access remain incomplete (McMahon, 2007). In fact, these
have not led to an effective reduction of tariff and non-tariff protection. Nevertheless, he
considers that in accordance with the AoA long-term goal, the Doha Round provides an
opportunity for members to rebalance existing standards and move further towards
Focussing on the North-South imbalances induced by the AoA, Cardwell and Smith
show in their analysis that market access standards have beneﬁted only a few members
(mainly developed countries) (Cardwell and Smith, 2013). On the other hand, they note that
the current negotiations could lead to a rebalancing of the standards in force. This would
improve the economic andsocial situation of developing members, especially the poorest.
In contrast to the studies mentioned above, this analysis focusses mainly on market
access for agricultural products. Nevertheless, while analyzing the standards in this area,
this study also analyses the interaction between market access and the other two pillars of
AoA, namely, domesticsupport and export subsidy. This study confronts current standards
with empirical facts.
To do this, it is postulated that even though current market access standards are better
than the GATT 1947 rules, they leave the possibility for some members to hijack them to
eventually increasetheir protection tariffs.
To support this hypothesis, we will begin by analyzing the draft modalities;
While it seems that this text contains the bases for a more equitable regulation, the
ﬁrst decisions adopted during the Doha Round seem to have mixed results. This is
particularly the case with the Bali decision on tariff quotas;
In addition to tariff quotas, a set of tariff measures is currently deployed;
Market access also depends on better regulation of non-tariff barriers;
Yet, it seems that the SSM may offer better market access conditions; and
Finally, it will become clear that, in addition to fairer agricultural rules, better
market access for the poorest countries also depends on their ability to improve
their trade performance.
2. Draft modalities: towards a better opening of agricultural markets?
The current market accessdraft appears to differ in some respects from the disciplines of the
AoA. In this draft, the members proposenot only to further reduce bound tariffs but also to
soften the effects of tariff escalation on agricultural imports. To do this, members have
chosen to use a tiered reduction formula(i.e. the reduction will be greater for members with
the highest bound rates).
Members shall reduce their consolidatedrates in six annual installments over a ﬁve-year
period, as follows:
if the ﬁnal bound tariff or ad valorem equivalent is greater than zero and less than or
equal to 20%, the reduction shall be 50%;
if the ﬁnal bound tariff or ad valorem equivalent is greater than 20% and less than
or equal to 50%, the reduction shall be 57%;
if the ﬁnal bound tariff or ad valorem equivalent is greater than 50% and less than
or equal to 75%, the reduction shall be 64%; and